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July 16, 2018 | by  | in UniQ |
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UniQ: The Queer Agenda

Throughout my life I’ve got to know so many fantastic women.. From my great-grandmother who was a nurse during World War II, to my sister who is currently a joinery apprentice in a male-dominated workplace, I have — and continue to be — inspired by the women in my life. I chose to write about the following two women’s work — Audre Lorde in the 20th century, and Edith “Edie” Windsor in the 20th and 21st centuries — as they both stood out to me for the lasting positive effects they had in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Audre Lorde (1934-1992): Lorde was an American writer and poet who identified strongly as a black feminist lesbian. Her works focussed on topics including civil rights, feminism (particularly black feminism), socioeconomic issues, lesbianism, and exploring black female identity. Lorde held the main tenets of feminism were interrelated (what we know today as intersectionality). Her messages of empowerment to black women and the breaking down of feminism into race and culture helped build the black feminist movement and black lesbian feminism. She authored 18 books, three being published posthumously.
Edith “Edie” Windsor (1929-2017): When her wife,  Thea Spyer, died in 2009 (leaving her entire estate to Windsor), Windsor sought to claim the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, only to learn that same-sex marriages were not covered under Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and was compelled to pay US $363,053 in federal estate taxes by the Internal Revenue Service. In 2010 Windsor filed a federal lawsuit for a refund because DOMA singled out legally married same-sex couples “without justification”. In 2012 Judge Barbara S. Jones ruled Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional, and ordered a refund plus interest. Later in 2012 the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed it being unconstitutional. In June 2013, after hearing oral arguments earlier in March, issued a 5-4 decision also affirming it was unconstitutional, thus overturning Section 3 of DOMA. Windsor was also an activist in the LGBTQIA+ community, joining many organisations over the years.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this